A status message to a friend- random thought, what about showing Ailin understanding in lyricals, maybe even a sex scene? (Take a read of "Song Without Words" by Gerald Shea, an autobiography in which he considers his hearing loss, that he managed to live with undiagnosed from early childhood until his 30s.) Another status message- Am I still a writer if I'm not writing? So I created an OpenOffice file, named it "Ailin's Hearing Loss" and started this introduction. I don't think it's fair to call this a work-in-progress, although maybe it's about the less of what "publish" means on those signs about writing in public schools (in other words, even onto my website is "publishing," even though I retain all the rights to it.) I'm not sure how long or short this will be because it's 7:32 pm according to my clock, late in the Eastern Time Zone to be starting fresh writing especially for #WipItUpWednesday- well and to help me inhabit a character I haven't before.
Adan's hand moving pulled Ailin's attention from his book. "Hey! Someone's coming. I think our Lady Kaya."
"Thank you," Ailin signed. He closed his book and sat up on Lady Kaya's bed. He shuddered; she still wore the shiny orange-tinted lip gloss that made her lips hard to understand.
"Lilliness, tum seer," Kaya ordered.
Ailin's heart skipped a beat before his Lady pointed at the floor before her. Saved by her gesture. He dashed off the bed and scurried across the floor on all fours to where she stood. Please gesture more without me having to admit to anything, my Lady.
"Up!" she ordered, the word clear even with her quiet tone.
He settled back on his shins before lifting his hands carefully under his hair. Tilting his head back, he watched her lips for her next order.
"Abut loofey bearta taipan sufi?" Kaya murmured.
Don't look at Adan for a translation. But that was total gibberish to me. Goddess, grant me the serenity. Um, taipan? The California house lizards? "My Lady?" he replied, hoping it didn't sound impertinent.
Lady Kaya knelt before him. "I want to lounge in a bath. You too?"
Nodding enthusiastically, he answered, "Yes, please, my Lady."
"Something clatter datter ears snorts?"
Clatter? Datter? Um, datter... dour... your ears! But what's clatter have to do with it? Matter?
"Hello? Ailin?" She pushed up on his chin until he brought his gaze to her eyes. "Don't ooey asp dourt ester. What omi ing?"
Your sister! I must have pulled my chin, trying to look at Adan. Omi ing? Om I ing? Am I ing? Ing? I must have missed half the word.
"Ailin?" She brushed her large knuckles over his earlobe. "Mooshy?"
"I... I've been... bad." He swallowed hard. "My Lady." Will she let Adan help now?
"How?" Lady Kaya demanded.
"Mooshy, my Lady?" He furrowed his eyebrows in the ASL grammar way.
"Tell. Me. How."
Poor Adan's so anxious. I can hear myself okay still. "I... I'm not hearing... my Lady." He released a puff of tense air from his burning lungs.
Kaya took Ailin's hand and urged him to stand; she released his hand to wrap her arms around his waist for a tight hug. "L-O-V-E. Not mooshy."
As she led him across the room, he looked up to see she was bringing them to Lady Prisca's bed. "Owiung ute bin dinths?" She gestured at Adan.
Adan translated Lady Kaya's sentence into ASL. "How long have you been hiding this?"
Closing his eyes, he tried to will his lips to stop trembling. Too long. Why have I been so scared? The Queen, this family, they don't ask me to be anything I'm not. His sister's soft palm pressed on his forearm. He opened his eyes.
Frowning, Adan signed, "You must tell her! She can only help if she knows."
Ailin nodded. "Voice for me?" he signed.
Looking at Lady Kaya even as he signed, Ailin replied, "A few months after The Queen collared me, I started to notice I was missing sounds, my Lady."
"One title per statement is fine," Kaya said, Adan continuing to interpret. She swiped a hand over her head, smoothing her hair down. "We need to tell The Queen."
Gasping, Ailin shook his head in desperation. "Please, not yet, my Lady!" he signed, his hands flying with his emotion.
With the back of her hand, Kaya wiped the gloss from her lips. "Help?"
"Yes, my Lady," Ailin answered in voice.
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